Lisa – a Match BEyond STudent
Lisa McDonald graduated from Match High School in 2007. She was awarded a full scholarship to University of Massachusetts – Boston and enrolled there. At the time, Lisa was also a new mother and had to work full-time to pay rent. The UMass-Boston schedule was not workable for Lisa, and she withdrew from college.
For the past five years, Lisa has been working at Walgreens, most recently as a Pharmacy Technician.
Lisa enrolled with Match Beyond in March of 2014. In July of 2015, she obtained her Associate’s Degree.
How did you hear about Match Beyond?
Bob Hill reached out to me on Facebook and told me about the program. I was concerned it wouldn’t fit with my work schedule. I was working all the time—days, nights, weekends. Mr. Hill assured me that I could fit Match Beyond into my schedule. Mr. Hill also assured me he would support me.
What about the program appealed to you?
I really liked the flexibility and the support. Match Beyond seemed to me like a job training program that would help prepare me for the work world.
What types of support have you received?
Bob, my coach, has always supported me along the way. He consistently picked me up on Sundays so that I could attend study sessions. Anytime I’ve come in to study, everyone is always eager to help. I feel like the whole team is there for me.
What has the coursework been like?
The coursework has taught me a lot, especially when it comes to business, resume-building, communication, and time-management. I’ve become a much better writer. I’ve gotten a lot of practice working in groups, and that’s something that was challenging for me at first. I’ve also learned how to balance school work, a work schedule, being a mother, and caring for my mom.
Through Match Beyond, I’ve witnessed the value of education.
What types of career services have you accessed through Match Beyond?
I have attended brown bag lunches at Bright Horizons and Artius Health. By going onsite to these employers, I learned about new possible careers. The experiences really opened my eyes.
I have also attended a networking night that Match Beyond hosted. The networking night helped me to make connections that I haven’t made before and helped me to build confidence in meeting and greeting people. I now feel more comfortable introducing myself to professionals, learning about their careers, and following up.
Match Beyond is also helping me to finish my resume, find jobs, and apply to jobs. The career team at Match Beyond is always here for me.
How does it feel to have your Associate’s Degree?
Since I graduated from high school, I had always planned on getting my Associate’s Degree, but I thought it would be very difficult for me. Now, a year and half after I enrolled in Match Beyond, I have my degree! It feels great!
What are you planning to do with the degree?
I am planning to go on to nursing school. I have applied and am waiting to hear back.
What advice do you have for students considering Match Beyond?
Match Beyond is a great program. The staff and students are really supportive. Match Beyond fits your busy life and teaches you the skills you need to perform well in the work world.
Definitely take advantage of the career events. Even if you are nervous at first, you will gain confidence and be very happy about the people you meet.